Leading groups with future alumni (ie current clients)

Spring 2015 Collaborative Session Notes

Spectrum of Attitudes: How We Approach our Alumni

Conveners: Stacy Rosay, CCAR, [email protected]

Lorie Obernauer, LO Group, Inc. [email protected]

Scribe: Lauren Kirschberg, Pine Grove, [email protected]


Gates, Chris MAP [email protected]
Kelinpeter, Felicia St. Christophers [email protected]
O’Shea, Brian New Beginnings [email protected]


List 3 (or more) important ideas offered by the convener.

  1. People viewed as objects
  2. People viewed as recipients
  3. People viewed as resources
  4. Relationships can be: parent/child, manager/subordinate, teacher/student, husband/wife, therapist/patient, etc.

List 3 (or more) great ideas offered by the participants.

  1. All three spectrum of attitudes have their place in this world, the trick is to figure out which one is at play and if it is appropriate
  2. When people arrive at treatment they have already been treated as objects and recipients, it’s time to treat them as a resource
  3. There are very different feelings associated with each attitude (see below)

Other things discussed:

Definitions of Spectrum of Attitudes:

  1. People Viewed as Objects
  2. One person “knows what’s best” for another person and thinks he/she has the right to determine the circumstances under which the other should exist. The person being viewed as an object usually knows it.
  3. Feelings associated: shame, anger, powerless, resentment, worthless, pointless, disposable, waste of space
  4. Example: being at the DMV, you are a cog in the wheel, an object
  5. People Viewed as Recipients
  6. Person still thinks they know what’s best for another, but an opportunity is “given” to “participate” in the decision making process for the “good” of the person or group.
  7. Feelings associated: anger, manipulated, stupid, guilty, gullible, disappointed, duped
  8. Example: boss has made a plan of action already but presents options to employees and “guides” them to choose his already made decision. Wasting everyone’s time.
  9. People Viewed as Resources
  10. Attitude of respect from one person toward the other about what a person is able/wants to do. Creates self-esteem and productivity.
  11. Feeling associated: respected, valuable, empowered, useful, pride of ownership
  12. Example: engaging people as active participants in their own lives, autonomy

2015 Fall Collaborative Notes

Facilitating Groups

Convener: Jef Mullins, Waters Edge Recovery [email protected]

Scribe:  Emili Barbour, New Directions [email protected]

Participants:  Adam Bough, Waters Edge Recovery [email protected]

What are the different groups

  • Discussion
  • Process
  • Lecture

What should we not do?

  • Never speak to the wall
  • Try to avoid putting yourself in a position to be reading something aloud the whole time
  • Don’t have lengthy Power Points or hand-outs with too much info

The spectrum of different kinds of groups

What can go wrong? When is it not safe?

  • We get into a topic we don’t know much about
  • There is negativity
  • Then we start to feel shame

How do you handle these situations?

  • When we felt scared and then doubting ourselves, there was a level of counter transference. That’s how the group was feeling
  • The group is a shared opportunity for group

We must trust in self and in group

When clients are in the least structural environments they must feel safe and held.  This is how they come back.

3 Basic Principles of groups going wrong

  • Fight or flight
  • Pairing
  • Dependency

How to turn negativity around

  • Acknowledge the error
  • Accept its not ideal
  • Place the power back into their hands

Don’t go somewhere if you don’t know where it’s going.

The safest group to have is a lecture

When you are planning to do a group consider these:

  • Size – bigger the group, the less the discussion should have
  • Strength – where are they in the recovery journey?
  • Is anything going on?

David Best

12 people  in a group  – perfect number, everyone plays a part without disappearing and without feeling overwhelmed

Always be mindful of the theme  – forward looking themes are very safe

We want freedom to instead of freedom from

Recovery Capital  (Need to support our alumni in all 3 of these areas)

  • House
  • Job/School
  • Friends

Good Group  –  WIG “Wildly Important Goals”

If someone was to make a video of your life, what would it look like?

  • Get specific
  • Only clue – You’re Happy

Tricks to bring it back

  • Pick a theme and write it on a board to subliminally remind them
  • When you start, say “we are talking about ____, is everyone ok with that?”
  • This is an upfront contract. So when it gets off track, ask “if you’re ok, can I pull the group back to our topic?”
  • “And I wonder whether that’s something that you’ve used on?” When someone talks about something painful in the past
  • “How does it feel now that you have shared?”

How many people go through NDFW in a year?

What can I do?

  • Experience the volunteering to want to do it again
  • Gifts
  • Service opportunities
  • Defining roles – clear roles

The goal:  Create experience for them that they thirst for and can’t wait for the next one

Phone-a-thon – contact women

Current and future for Tuesday event/meeting

Currency of Hope


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Contact Information

Treatment Professionals in Alumni Services
PO Box 1152
Salida, CO 81201
(757) 784-7550


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